Friday, April 24, 2015

Freedom Wreath

Summer is just around the corner. (or, if you live in Utah, it's come, and gone, and come, and gone. Like a cat in a doorway)

The biggest holiday in the Summer is the Fourth of July. 

So I made a Freedom Wreath! 


  • Hot glue
  • Foam wreath
  • Burlap (red, tan, and blue)
  • Tiny star buttons
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard

I started by marking the foam piece with four lines (dividing it into quarters.

Three quarters were red and tan, and one quarter was blue.

I cut the burlap into squares. I folded each square in half for layers. If it was a single layer, you can see the foam through each piece.

I used hot glue and glued the pieces on, alternating, and overlapping.

It turned out great! But the back was awful, see:

It needed a back to hide all those yucky seams. I cut a donut out of the cardboard, and wrapped it in the tan burlap.

Much better:

I may have cut the cardboard slightly larger than I intended...but it still turned out alright. 

After the back was on, and all those seams were hidden, I glued the stars on!



I realize this post was really boring. I apologize. I don't feel great today. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Finally Finished: Princess Stool

I finally finished the princess stool! It took a lot longer than expected because of weather, health, and vacations (those are important).

Here is the finished result!

I'm sorry the photo on the bottom is painfully blurry. I was blinded by the sun before coming inside to take the picture. 

While I am happy with how it turned out, the next ones will be better. The first rarely turns out as the best. 

I'm so relieved it is done, though. Now I can start a new project without feeling guilty...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The City So Nice...

Have you ever fallen in love? The very thought of the one you love excites you. Their quirks are adorable (even if they are annoying at times). You find your mind wandering to them, their face, their eyes, their laugh, that thing they said. It's almost inexplicable, but you feel something. You feel something real, and solid. There is a connection that you can't deny.

It's like every chick flick romance ever.

That happened to me. In New York. With New York.

And like with a lot of chick flicks, it didn't start out that way. I can promise you, it was the exact opposite.

The city is smelly. It's dirty. In the winter, it is effing cold. It's loud. It's scary. It's crowded. Have you seen the subway? It's a train that runs underground. Trains belong above ground. It's the city that has insomnia. It never settles down; it's like a first grader on Halloween who forgot to take his ADHD medicine.

But that's what makes it great!

The air is constantly filled with the scent of food. Not just plain food, like McDonald's, but real food. Good food. The food that makes your mouth water when you say the name.

It's filthy. There are millions of people walking, spitting, dropping things, sneezing. Years upon years of that. It's all built up. That dirt represents a lot of people living there. Mind you, it is still nasty, but realizing that the dirt is connected to the people makes it slightly more bearable.

My grandma always tells me about humidity and how cold humidity goes straight to the bone. She wasn't exaggerating. I promise. It does. It is noticeable. Dry cold is practically summer compared to the cold of New York. But that cold is kind of mesmerizing. You can almost carry the air in the winter, it is so solid and cold, but that doesn't stop the city from functioning. No, it carries on.

There are so many sounds. All the people, the cars, the buses, the dogs, the kids, the extremely large pigeons. Everything makes noise. In fact, funny story, I bought some darling boots out there. I wore them a lot. I got home, and wore them to church...they are really loud. They click and clack, but I didn't notice out there. I couldn't hear myself walk when I was there. It was kind of crazy.

Never have I seen so many people at once. I have walked down the halls at UVU between classes. I have got to Orem Summerfest. I have tried to get gas at Costco around dinnertime. Never before have there been so many people just living. I've been to other big cities, but I felt like there were just so many more people in New York. Each person living their own life, creating their own story, discovering what it means to be them! You could feel the life around you.

Trains really should be above ground. I stand by that, but if they were above ground, the bands that played wouldn't have sounded quite as good. The underground has pretty good acoustics. Aside from that, it had neat tile. It literally had subway tile. Duh! It was gross, cracked, and probably older than me, but it was amazing! Outside trains don't really have that kind of thing going for them.

When they say the city never sleeps, they mean it. Any place with enough people will have a 24 hour schedule, but this place wasn't just awake at night. It was living at night. At midnight it wasn't too weird to be awake (also, I was running on Utah time most of the week, so it was only 10 for me). Places stayed open so much later. (They also delivered late!) Life could happen at night. I have trained myself to not be a night owl anymore, but out there, I probably could have gotten away with it.

New York was the scariest thing I have experienced, but I wouldn't change it. At first it was awful, but it romanced me. It charmed me. It won me over. I was only there a week, but I think part of my heart was left there. I do plan on going back (not until it warms up), and I am going to eat a million deli sandwiches, and ride the subway, and stay up living until my eyes can't be open anymore. New York really is the city so nice...

...that they named it twice. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

TED Talks

At work, I like to have something to listen to. Movies are fun to listen to, but they kind of make the day go by slower (so much happens in a movie that it feels like a lot of time has passed when it really hasn't). Music is also great, but sometimes I want something that makes me think. (Don't get me wrong, the 80s play list on spotify is amazing.)

Here are, in no particular order, my favorite five that I have watched so far:
This one is titled "How to speak so that people want to listen" given by Julian Treasure.

I really enjoyed this talk. I feel like the information given was really useful. These days, it feels, that a lot of people do a lot of talking without actually getting to the point. The short bursts of statuses, I feel, has inhibited our ability to speak in a way that is engaging when we aren't on the internet. Along the same lines, I feel that we have all stopped listening. We skim statuses, and we don't actually take them in, especially if the statuses are opinions that differ from our own. Which brings me to the next video!

This video is called "5 Ways to Listen Better" by Julian Treasure.

Along the same lines as the last video, I really liked the points he made. I love the acronyms he gave. I wrote them down on post-its and stuck them on my monitor at work. I don't know how well I have incorporated them, though. It's a work in progress.

The next video was suggested by my friend. It was really interesting. It gave me a new understanding of people who have dealt with addiction (I realize not all people are the same, but still). I have a friend that I care a great deal for, and he deals with addiction. This talk softened my heart--I didn't realize it needed it, but it did.

This one is called "Lessons from the Mental Hospital" and it was given by Glennon Doyle Melton. It was part of an independent TED talks convention at Traverse City (I haven't a clue where that is).

I really like her honesty, and her openness. She also has a sort of relaxed air about her. It's refreshing. Especially if you watch a lot of videos of "pros".

This next video is called "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor. I got it off of the playlist "10 Talks you won't be able to stop thinking about". I can assure you that that is 100% for this particular talk.

In this talk, Jill describes her stroke. Literally. It sounds kind of dull, but she is a neuroscientist. She studies brains for a living. She recounts her stroke, and describes it in such a way that it becomes the most incredible thing you have ever heard. You'll have a new found appreciation for your brain after this one.

If you watched that, let me know what you thought. It was incredible to me. I have never been more astounded by something in my life.

This next talk will not floor you like that one did. It's just a really, really, good bit of information. It's titled "How to Make Stress Your Friend" and it's given by Kelly McGonigal.

In this talk, she describes what stress--or our negative perception of it--does to our bodies. In the end, I learned that it's not the stress itself, but our reaction to it that harms us. (I think there's a Jack Sparrow quote about that.)

Did you just watch it? I liked the part about the brain. I can't say that I know for a fact that what she showed was true, but I trust her. She's supposed to have studied this for a while, so she better know! Even if it's not true, does it matter? Just the idea that being a Negative Nancy could kill us is enough to get me to mellow out a bit more.

If you have any other TED talks (or talks in general) that you liked, send them my way! I could seriously use more! Any topic! Then we can talk about them!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.